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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-20-24 PDF
February 20, 2024
2-12-24 PDF
February 12, 2024

News Briefs

Soda tax could shake up industryOne idea that has been introduced to find the $1 trillion in funding to change the health care system is a junk food tax–specifically, a tax on soda. Harold Goldstein, a physician and executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, says the average American drinks 50 gallons of soda a year, and that it should be taxed so it pays its share of the obesity epidemic. While some question the effectiveness a move like that would make, others maintain that a tax could change consumption patterns–much the way taxing tobacco changed that consumption pattern.

End of Cash for Clunkers takes toll on car salesAs the end of the Cash for Clunkers program came to a close, retail sales for the auto industry decreased, the largest decrease in nine months. However, the decrease was still less than many economists believed it would be. The actual drop in retail sales was 1.5 %, as opposed to the 2.1% drop that many believed would occur. Economists say, however, that the real test will be in the spring, when the buying seasons begins.

Swine flu vaccines here, but not casesThough swine flu vaccinations are here in Massachusetts, there are not nearly as many suspected cases as expected. It is not particularly widespread in the Boston area yet. However, public officials are not letting their guards down, and will continue to receive vaccine shipments and set up clinics throughout the winter. Typical flu season reaches its zenith in December or late November, but there is never any way to really tell when or if the H1N1 virus may start spreading more widely.

DiMasi to plead not guilty to extortionFormer Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi has been charged with extortion, to add to a list of charges having to do with an alleged public corruption scheme. Prosecutors previously alleged that DiMasi and others created contracts with software company Cognos in exchange for payments. The new extortion charge is a penalty that carries up to 20 years in prison. According to his lawyer, DiMasi will plead not guilty.